Chris Wallace Crabbe
Australian English: The language of a new society edited by Peter Collins And David Blair
ABR asked a few colleagues and contributors to nominate some books that have beguiled them – might even speak to others – at this unusual time.... (read more)
We play because we kow-tow and are free;
a set of guidelines activating choice
or so we hope. The mineral poet wrote,
‘By loss of memory we are reborn’,
but memory’s the root of active power:
we grab the minute and we grasp the hour
hoping that such engagements prove us free.
As physical as he was metaphysical, his playful courtesy equal to his reflectiveness, Alec Hope has mortally gone from us now. In his time, which was far from short, he was like nobody else in our literary landscape. Coming from an age in which subject matter mattered, Hope became a poet of astonishingly wide range, as of remarkable intensity. His burning star has been clouded a little in recent decades because of his investment in masculine sexuality, but he survives powerfully: sometimes hilariously. We won’t forget his Red Riding Hood devouring the wolf. Among his recent forebears, he rejoiced in Baudelaire, Yeats, and early Auden, the latter an overpowering figure when the young Australian sailed to Oxford.
T.S. Eliot’s brand of juxta-positional modernism meant little to Alec, who found it all a bit shifty, but he did share the St Louis master‘s ideas about poetic impersonality: a poem was the Ding an sich, not the shadow of its writer within it. Once, indeed, he poked mullock at Eliot by citing his putative play, Merd, or In the Cathedral.... (read more)
have their own special nook nearby,
under that blackwood.
In memory of Graham Little
The forms in which I’m able:
Although invited, I‘ve declined
A pizza at ...
hangs an off-grey trunk – odd word –
more than the puny dangling tail
marking this leatherjacket.
So much overcoat in our tropics, then?
But why is any creature as it is?
shipping creatures from those Turkish hil ...
scratching their heads and hairy armpits.
So like them it was,
well, sort of
but ever so ...
stared into from a cabin up above:
snowy cloud-sonata which then
recedes into softness
with its airy iceberg flocks
counterpoint, say, but can’t
feed serious fiction for
the yarnspinner has to eat
the heavy middle of our sand ...